Staying positive in the face of failure



The word failure brings many unpleasant thoughts to mind. Most of us would associate it with unworthiness, hopelessness, despondency, low self-esteem and general apathy. The dictionary defines the word failure as a person or thing that proves unsuccessful.

After reading this definition, I decided that this is only a half truth. Yes, I’m sure we can all agree that the word failure conjures up negative emotions and feelings, however, without failure how would we ever have success? I know very few people that have achieved great success without facing multiple failures and making mistakes along the way.

I see failure as a wonderful opportunity for us to become more mature, wise, patient and perseverant. I think your mind can only think in a certain way when you are faced with the opposite of what you expected. Then all your energy is directed towards those habits and qualities that force you to reach your goal. I believe that the desire to reach your goal and the conviction of knowing that you can if you apply the right tools starts to change your thinking.

New ideas and thoughts will start to culminate because deep inside, you know that reaching your goal is an amazing accomplishment that is worth the sacrifice along the way. I think the key to dealing with failure is to become aware of how we respond to it and how we process the effects that we imagine it will have on our lives.

If we approach failure from a more accepting and welcoming place (sounds like a contradiction to our usual response), then when we are dealt heavy blows in our lives, the expectancy of those blows in helping us to grow, learn and develop our character as human beings, is quite an appealing philosophy.

By changing our attitudes towards those things that we perceive as threatening to our happiness will help to overthrow the giants by seeing things as an opportunity instead of a threat to our lives. It’s like saying, make friends with your enemies. The minute you do that, they are completely disarmed. The power they thought they exert over you is no longer there and the failure which is often disguised as fear quickly diminishes.

I completely understand why facing our failures is the only way to get rid of them. The perception that certain circumstances or activities could negatively affect our lives scares us. However, to think like that is to give in to fear which in essence fuels failure and gives it more control over our lives. So what does the bible say about fear?

In Philippians 4 vs 6-7 it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. So this really sounds like a command that we are told to obey and if this is a message from the Almighty, we need to resist failure and fear and pray about them instead.


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